09 Feb. 2007
SETI League
PriUPS Project


NY Times 03 Feb 2007, Page 1

I found this in the New York Times.  The full article was about political gossip, but of course I seized on an item to which I can personally relate, highlighted at left.  (Not highlighted is another sartorial item about <horror> entering the Senate chamber without a tie, </horror> something I would never consider.)

But:  Holes in the socks are different.  Heck, all socks start out with one big hole, so presumably they are only improved with wear.  And Wolfowitz has an important position.  Does this mean I should have similar aspirations?  Not the World Bank, but perhaps the president's Science Advisor?  Chief Spinach Inspector?  (Don't laugh:  I know nothing about spinach, so presumably I'm qualified.)  I was daydreaming about how high I might rise in government or perhaps a major NGO now that certain impedimenta have been revealed as non-crippling.   I spent much of the day trying on titles.  Minister Plenipotentiary!  Suzerain!  I would even be willing to suppress my tendency to don Eric the Fruit Hat on the odd chance that wearing it would diminish my dignity when facing the supplicants. 

But a memory crept into my alleged mind.  It was of Adlai Stevenson, twice 1950s candidate for President of the United States of America, then as now the most important position on the planet.  Presidents can hire and fire as many spinach inspectors as they choose!  Stevenson was reputed to be a fine gentleman and an intellectual, qualities that I sometimes pretend to see in myself.  More importantly, he seems to have had the qualification to be supreme leader:  He was such an indefatigable campaigner that at the end of a day on the stump (or hustingspolitical words are even more fun than hat words (if you dispute that, I'll gerrymander your bailiwick)) he was revealed to have had a hole in his shoe!  Although voters swooned over that, both times he lost the election to General and then President Eisenhower, the historical results of which we are all familiar.

Hole(s) in the sock = World Bank president.  Hole in the shoe = failure.  Dreams of glory and adulation seem so fragile when one can't definitively parse the requirements of office.  The subtleties of all this are escaping me; I think it's time for my nap.

NP:  "Time Will Show the Wiser" - Sandy Denny / Fairport Convention

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